Earlier this summer we ran across a peculiar plant making its way up through the earth in the forest. A strange striped asparagus? No Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromeda.
According to Wikipedia “Like all members of the Monotriopoidiae , Pterospora andromedea lacks chlorophyll (trace amounts have been identified, but not enough to provide energy for the plant or to color it. Plants exist for most of their life as a mass of brittle, but fleshy, roots. They live in a parasitic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, in which plants derive all their carbon from their associated fungus, but the relationship is not yet well understood.”
This makes it similar to several of the orchids we have encountered along the trail.
Now that summer has passed and fall is in the air the plant looks like this.
Somewhat like a small tree full of small pumpkins decorating the autumn forest.
2 thoughts on “Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromedea”
I absolutely LOVE your posts. I follow you and just wanted you to know. This one really grabbed me!
Great information, thanks. I appreciate the life flow of the plant which we don’t normally get like this. Usually it’s dig through a text book or long searches.